Photographer's Note

Princeton University's physics department is known as one of the finest in the world, a member of a select group that includes MIT, Caltech, Harvard in the United States, and Cambridge and Oxford in the UK. Over the years I've taken my own students in nuclear physics classes from Virginia for a "right-of-spring" visit to Princeton, New Jersey. We've toured the Institute for Advanced Study where Einstein spent the last 23 years of his life and his home at 112 Mercer Street; the Princeton Plasma Physics Lab where pioneer nuclear fusion experiments have been carried out for the past five decades. [Whereas nuclear fission used in nuclear power reactors uses uranium and thorium, both in limited supply on earth, and the product is radioactive waste, nuclear fusion is virtually unlimited and produces no radioactive waste. One day the world will derive most of its electrical power from fusion generators. Fusion takes place at roughly 100 million Celsius. "Cold Fusion" is a sham!] And we always spent a day at the university's vaunted physics department, touring experiments and listening to some lectures.

In the photo, a prominent Princeton biophysicist was explaining the mechanism of the apparatus he had designed to simulate biological evolution. Built on a micro-scale, the apparatus contains a pattern of interconnected wells. Each well has enough volume to support a small population of bacteria, while the interconnections allow the population in each well to migrate out. From the outside edge, nutrients, antibiotics, and other things can be added to the wells. If the flow rate is chosen carefully, huge gradients in the amount of nutrient and antibiotics can be created. A bacterial population is placed at the center of the well. This is a very food-poor area, and the bacteria immediately migrate to the outside, where there is the largest amount of food. When some antibiotics are added to the solution, there are created three steep gradients; food, antibiotic, and bacterial populations all have their highest concentrations on the outside. This approach may have important application for cancer research.

A humorous touch was injected when the lecturer inadvertently wandered in front of the projector, where his forehead served as a secondary screen.

In the workshop is seen a group portrait of my students in front of Einstein's house. Two of them are identical twins (guess which two). I am in the red shirt in the far right.

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Additional Photos by Bulent Atalay (batalay) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6698 W: 479 N: 11902] (40373)
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